Shareholders have backed a multi-million pound plan to create the largest shale gas company in the UK.
At its annual general meeting on Monday investors in oil and gas firm IGas voted to approve the deal to buy Dart Energy for £117 million.
The board of Dart Energy, the company behind plans to drill for coalbed methane gas near Airth, has already recommended to its shareholders they accept the merger package when they meet on Wednesday.
Dart is still waiting for planning permission from the Scottish Government for its coalbed methane development at Letham Moss.
Reporters who heard evidence at the first-ever Public Local Inquiry into the project are unlikely to announce their decision until next month at the earliest, but that has not stopped IGas’s determination to buy in.
Together the two firms will hold over a million acres of land that has shale gas below.
Chief executive Andrew Austin said: “The deal puts the enlarged company at the heart of unlocking Britain’s energy potential. This is a British success story, establishing IGas as a key contributor to UK energy mix and security.”
Dart Energy chief executive John McGoldrick sees the emergence of the UK’s shale gas industry as one of the defining energy market stories of the century. He said: “Success in the oil and gas business comes from scale and the combination of Dart and IGas achieves that scale.”
IGas has confirmed it is ready to bid for more UK shale assets as the government starts to auction them off as part of its latest onshore licensing plan.
Chairman Francis Gugen said: “We are well placed to particpate.”